Our third workshop ushered in a moment of vulnerability when students shared their best tape from last week's assignment (borrowed from Transom): to ask five people what they're afraid of. Mr. Jenkins' class was small enough to critique the interviews as a class. In Mr. Hernandez's class, we split up into three groups.

Each student talked about the challenges they faced in completing the assignment. Difficulty with finding a quiet spot to record was a common complaint, as students realized how truly noisy school hallways are. Overall, students gathered a range of responses to the question. Interviewees spoke about spiders, the dark, fear of the unknown, heights, and a range of other subjects. This was a useful exercise in asking follow-up questions and eliciting interesting replies.

Students listen back to the best of their interviews.

To conclude our third meeting, we presented a short lecture on what is newsworthy, emphasizing the difference between "news" and "information." Using worksheet 1.1 from the Student Reporting Labs website, we discussed the five cateogories journalists use when they talk about what's newsworthy: timeliness, proximity, conflict and controversy, human interest, and relevance.

Then it was time for a quick exercise. We presented a list of news headlines collected from various news outlets -- some local, others regional, others national or international -- and had the students sort them into the five categories on the worksheet. Some overlapped, and we discussed why.